Tag Archives: ESA

Create Your Space: a competition from the ESA

In the Futurismic postbag this week was an email from one Richard Astley (who, I assume, is not that Richard Astley – I’ve checked the links, you’re safe from ‘rolling), who wants to let you know about a competition being run by the European Space Agency. Take it away, Richard:


The sky has been an inspiration for humankind ever since the first people appeared in the Earth. Now it’s your turn.

The European Space Agency (ESA) invites you to get inspiration from our images of stars, planets, spaceflight and of our own planet Earth seen from space and to create your own work of art.

Choose your favourite image from the selection on our Facebook Wall, let your imagination run wild, create your art and share it with us. The creations that collect the most “Likes” will win the competition.


  1. Click the “Like” button on the top of our Facebook page to become a fan
  2. Choose one of the images on the wall of the Facebook page or in our Flickr gallery
  3. Create a work of art inspired by the image – you can create a story, a poem, a painting, a video, a comic strip, a recipe, a haiku, a sculpture, whatever you like. You don’t have to stick with the image topic, if the image suggests to you something completely different … why not? Feel free to express yourself in your preferred medium.
  4. Upload your creation anywhere except Facebook. You can upload your art on YouTube, Flickr, on Twitter (please include the hashtag #createyourspace), on your blog or website. Content uploaded on Facebook will not be included in the competition.
  5. Tag our content with the tag “ESA_space_inspiration”.
  6. Link your art in the comments of the post containing the image that inspired it.
  7. You can submit your art from now until 2 January 2011.
  8. People can vote for the submissions until 4 February 2011.


Voting for your favourite work of art is very simple: click the “Like” button placed in the comment containing the link to your favourite creation.


There will be one winner for each image, chosen by the public, based on the number of “Likes” in the comment field.


Winners will receive a bag full of space goodies. The winning works of art will be published on the ESA Portal (www.esa.int)

The media-savvy among you are doubtless thinking “hmm, social media publicity drive” – but hey, why not? I’d rather publicise the ESA than male grooming products or soft drinks. We know the game and we’re gonna play it… ain’t that right, Richard? 😉

EDIT 10/12/2010: An update from Richard (who very graciously didn’t rise to my bait) informs me that “the prize for the overall winner for this competition is an iPad, with the bag of gadgets going to the best piece of art submitted for each picture.” If that don’t incentivize ya, I don’t know what will…

New ESA/Russian manned spacecraft pictures!

Check out the Soyuz capsule replacement and conceptual artwork here.

One of the most unusual features about the capsule appear to be the thrusters and landing gear on its underside. Mr Zak said it would use these engines to soften its landing on Earth after the fiery re-entry through our atmosphere.

It’s interesting how the national space agencies seem to see the future in rockets, rather than space planes, for space exploration.

What with the Space Shuttle being retired in 2010, and with a possible alternative European plan for a manned version of the ATV called Jules Verne, as well as the American Ares V rockets planned for use in Project Constellation, it seems it’s no longer de rigueur to build spaceplanes unless you’re a private space tourism company.

[story from BBC News]

Jules Verne – the first cargo ship in space

The ATV Jules Verne will be the first unmanned European spacecraftThis Saturday marks the launch of the biggest vessel in European space history – the Automated Transport Vehicle (ATV), Jules Verne. Named for the classic SF writer, the 21-ton spacecraft is the first unmanned ship launched by Europe to transport goods through space. Russia has some unmanned vehicles, the Progress spaceships. The US Space Shuttle and Russian Soyuz craft also visit the International Space Station but Jules Verne is the first new type of craft in 9 years.

“The ATV, as a logistics vehicle, carries almost three times the hardware, fuel, water and oxygen that a Russian Progress carries,” said NASA’s ISS program manager Mike Suffredini. “It is a major contribution to the program.”

The Jules Verne will travel for a week catching up with the International Space Station before docking. The astronauts will remove the fuel and equipment within and send the ATv back to Earth in six months time, filled with waste material. Jules Verne will burn up in the atmosphere although in the future reentry-proof canisters may be included.

[story and image via Space.com]